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Kym Worthy moves to keep Virgil Smith off November ballot

DETROIT – The results surprised experts Tuesday during the primary election for Detroit's City Council.

Current District Two Councilman George Cushingberry finished third in the race, meaning he won't receive another term.

One of the two winners, Sen. Virgil Smith, is making headlines as the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office fights to get him off the ballot.

Smith is most recently known for an incident in which he shot up his wife's car.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy said she is ready to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to expedite a hearing in her appeal of the Smith plea bargain that had him resign from office last year. She's making it clear she doesn't want him on the November ballot.

At Smith's plea bargain sentencing a year ago in March, Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon felt it was against the Michigan constitution for Smith to agree to resign from office in exchange for reduced charges.

Smith fired shots at his ex-wife's Mercedes with an assault rifle at his home in a long-running Lansing controversy.

In the plea deal, the charges went from felonious assault, felony firearms and domestic violence to malicious destruction of property in exchange for 10 months in jail, five years of probation, resigning from office and agreeing not to run for public office during his probation.

Smith served 10 months in jail and remains under probation.

Talon wouldn't accept the resignation or the portion of the deal that didn't allow Smith to run for public office as conditions. Instead, he just gave Smith the probation and jail time.

Worthy appealed the decision, and the Michgian Appeals Court ruled Talon erred in his decision, but didn't rule on the issue of appearing on the ballot.

On Tuesday night, Smith came in ahead of incumbent Detroit City Council president pro-tem Cushingberry, qualifying for the November ballot against Roy McCalister Jr., a former Detroit Police Department homicide chief and dogged -- previously unsuccessful -- council candidate.

Local 4 tried to speak to all the candidates, but nobody returned calls or was home to answer questions for the story.

It's up to the Supreme Court whether Tuesday night's results will stand. Smith's attorneys have until Aug. 23 to respond to Worthy's appeal. So far, they haven't done so.

It appears Cushingberry's long political career could be over, but it depends on how this issue plays out.


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